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Friday, 16 September 2016

375) America the Beautiful Quarters (8) – 2017 Eighth Annual Quarters set being issued by the US Mint:

375) America the Beautiful Quarters (8) – 2017 Eighth Annual Quarters set being issued by the US Mint:

This is the eighth year in the “America the Beautiful Quarters programme” which was launched in 2010. Every year five quarters are issued featuring five different National Parks or National sites. The Series is expected to run through 2021 with a total of 56 different coins featuring a site for each US State, US Territory and the District of Columbia, presented in the order in which these Parks/sites were federally designated.

 I have put up posts on each of the previous year issues i.e. 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, the links of which are given at the bottom of this Post.

The 2017 coins will commemorate Effigy Mounds National Monument (Iowa), Frederick Douglass National Historic Site (DC), Ozark National scenic Riverways (Mo), Ellis Island – Statue of Liberty National Monument – (NJ) and George Rogers Clark National Historical Park (IN).

The details of the five designs selected for 2017, representing the 36th to 40th overall coin releases are as under:

 36) Effigy Mounds National Monument (Iowa):

Effigy Mounds National Monument preserves 206 pre-historic Mounds built by Native Americans, of which 31 are effigies in the shape of birds and bears etc. The largest “Great Bear Mound” measures 42 metres from head to tail and rises over a metre above the original ground level. The Monument spans 2,526 Acres or 10.22 square km. The natural features of the Mounds include – forests, tall-grass prairies, wetlands and rivers.

Effigy Mounds National Monument covers the western edge of the Effigy region. The North Unit consisting of 67 Mounds and the South Unit consisting of 29 Mounds are located along the Mississippi River. The Sny Magill Unit (112 Mounds) is about 11 miles or 18 km South of the other units and offers no visitor facilities. Other Mounds are located on remote parts of the Monument grounds.

 These Effigy Mounds were built mostly in the first millennium by the people of the Woodland Culture. The Effigy Mound Culture extended from Dubuque, Iowa, North of Southeast Minnesota, across Southern Wisconsin from Mississippi to Lake Michigan and along the Wisconsin-Illinois boundary. The counties of Dubuque, Clayton and Allamakee have almost all the Effigy Mounds found in Iowa.

The Monument contains nationally significant archaeological resources including surviving examples of earthen American Indian Mound Groups that provide an insight into the social, ceremonial, political and economic life of the Eastern Woodland people who built mounds from about 500 BC until the early European contact period.

The Effigy Mound Builders:

The Effigy Mound American India culture developed over 2500 years ago, in which thousands of earthen mounds were placed across the landscape of parts of Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois. The “Effigy Mound-builders”, as these Native American people are popularly called, constructed Effigy Mounds of earth in the shapes of birds, bears, bison, deer, lynx, panthers, or water spirits.

The Effigy Mound culture existed in the area of the Upper Midwest in which thousands of Mounds were placed in the shape of animals across the landscape. Others are conical, linear, rectangular or compound shapes, many of the conical mounds are burial mounds. Some Effigy Mound Groups were built to a monumental scale, for example, the Marching Bear Group contains 10 bear and 3 bird effigies and stretches nearly a quarter mile along a bluff top overlooking the Upper Mississippi river.

Along the Mississippi River in Northeast Iowa and across the river in Southwest Wisconsin, two major animal mound shapes – the “bear” and the “bird” – are largely depicted. Near Lakes Michigan and Winnebago, “water spirit” earth mounds – historically called the “turtle” and “panther” mounds – are more commonly found.

The Effigy Mounds were either built for ceremonial purposes or to mark celestial events or seasonal observances as is made out by the local legends and tales.

Some of the Tribes who were associated with this culture/symbolism:

Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma, Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Indians, Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin, Upper Sioux Indian Community of Minnesota, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community in the State of Minnesota, Lower Sioux Indian Community of Minnesota, Prairie Island Indian Community in the State of Minnesota, Sac and Fox of the Mississippi in Iowa, Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri in Kansas and Nebraska, Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma, Crow Creek Sioux of South Dakota, Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, Santee Sioux Nation, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Yankton Sioux of South Dakota, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe and Ponca Tribe of Nebraska.

The coin:

This coin is the 36th in the “America the Beautiful Quarters Programme”.

The Reverse design depicts an aerial view of the mounds in the “Marching Bear Group”.

 On the upper periphery is mentioned the inscription “EFFIGY MOUNDS”. On the lower Periphery are mentioned “IOWA” “E.PLURIBUS UNUM” (meaning “One Among Many”) and the year of issue “2017”.

 The Reverse has been designed under the United States Mint “Artistic Infusion Program” (AIP) by Designer Richard Masters and engraved by Renata Gordon, whose initials will appear on the actual coins.

37) Frederick Douglass National Historic Site (District of Columbia – DC):

The Frederick Douglass National Historic Site preserves the home and legacy of Frederick Douglass, who is among the most important persons in US history.

After escaping from slavery in Maryland, he became an internationally renowned abolitionist, social reformer, writer, statesman, civil rights advocate and a firm believer in the equality of all persons and races.

His Victorian style home was built between 1855 and 1859 for John Van hook on a property measuring 9 ¾ acres of land. Hook sold the home and during 1877, it was owned by the Freedmen’s Savings and Trust Company.

After the US Civil War (1861-1865), Douglass was appointed as the Marshal for the District of Columbia, which earned him a tidy income, enabling him to buy this lavish Victorian home on Cedar Hill from the Freedmen’s Savings and Trust Company for a sum of $6,700 (equivalent to over $152,300 present day). Douglass moved into the home in 1878, along with his wife Anna and lived there until he passed away in 1895.

During his stay in the mansion, Douglass renovated and added several rooms to the house, converting it into a 21-room mansion.

In this home, Douglass became a cultivated member of high society. His autobiography titled “Life and times of Frederick Douglass” was first published in 1881.

After he passed away, his second wife Helen in association with Frederick Douglass Memorial and Historical Association and the National Association of Coloured Women completed the restoration of the Douglass Home in 1922.

In 1962, the National Park Service (NPS) took the deed to the house, which along with Cedar Hill became a part of the National Park system. Perched high on a hilltop, the site offers a sweeping view of the US Capitol and the Washington D.C. skyline.

In 1972, the Site was officially thrown open to visitors.

The Frederick Douglass Historic Site is primarily a tribute the Douglass’s life and work, showcasing many artefacts, furniture and other house furnishings belonging to Douglass. The historic site also provides an educational opportunity for researchers looking to learn more about Frederick Douglass and his life’s ideals and achievements.

The coin:

This coin is the 37th in the “America the Beautiful Quarters Programme”.

The Reverse design shows Frederick Douglass seated at a writing desk with his home in Washington, D.C., in the background.

 On the upper periphery is mentioned the inscription “FREDERICK DOUGLASS”. On the lower Periphery are mentioned “DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA” “E.PLURIBUS UNUM” (meaning “One Among Many”) and the year of issue “2017”.

The Reverse has been designed by AIP designer Thomas Hipschen and engraved by Phebe Hemphill, whose initials will appear on the actual coins.

38) Ozark National Scenic Riverways (Missouri):

The Ozark National Scenic Riverways is a National Park in the Ozarks of Southern Missouri in the USA.

 In 1964, the Park was created by an Act of Congress to protect the Current and Jacks Fork Rivers and it was formally dedicated in 1971.

The Park is located mostly in Shannon County, extending into Carter, Dent and Texas counties. Communities surrounding the Ozark National Scenic Riverways include – Eminence, Licking, Salem, Van Buren, Ellington, Bunker and Mountain View, Missouri.

The Park covers about 80,000 acres (or about 324 sq. km) and is replete with many forms of recreation. The Park is home to abundant animal and plant life and is visited by around 1.3 million persons every year.

Canoeing, Kayaking, inflatable raft and tubes, motorised boating with johnboats are popular activities in the Park. Other recreational facilities include horseback riding, hunting, hiking, fishing, camping, bird-watching, nature photography and sight-seeing.

The Park Service promotes the Current River as one of the Midwest’s best float streams. The Ozark Springs rank among the largest springs in the world, delivering billions of gallons of clear, cold water to the Current and Jacks Fork Rivers every week. The springs are unique eco-systems and provide a unique environment for plants and animals not commonly found in the rivers. Watercress and other aquatic plants play a key role in the spring eco-system by providing organic matter used by other plants and animals.

At least 38 animal species are found in the Ozark springs and subterranean waters.

The headwaters of the Current River begin at the confluence of Pigeon Creek and Montauk Springs in the Montauk State Park. Some other notable springs along the course of the River include – Welch Spring, Cave Spring, Pultite Spring, Round Spring, Fire Hydrant Spring, Ebb and flow Spring, Blue Spring, Big Spring and Gravel Spring.

The Ozarks have been typified by what is called “Karst Topography” – meaning geologic structures underneath the Earth are made of soluble limestone and dolomite. Water has been at work underground wearing away passages – water-filled ones resulting in springs and formerly water-filled ones resulting in caves. As such, a Karst landscape is one in which caves, springs, sinkholes and losing streams are found.

The Park includes over 300 Caves including – Round Spring Caverns, Devils Well Sink, Branson Cave (one of the most biologically diverse caves in Missouri) and Jam-Up Cave. Eight Caves, including an open sinkhole have been designated as outstanding natural features.

 Big Brown Bats (largest Bats in Missouri caves), Indiana Bats (endangered), Gray Bats (endangered), Little Brown Bats (slightly larger than the Eastern Pipistrelles), Northern long-eared Bats (slightly larger than the Eastern Pipistrelles), Eastern Pipistrelle (small Bats), Eastern Red Bats (twice the size of the Eastern Pipistrelles),  and Ozark Big-eared Bats could be encountered in the Caves. Visitors are told not to disturb the Bat clusters, if they happen to see them.

The Rivers also have the famous “Ozark Hellbenders” which is a unique and environmentally sensitive species of strictly aquatic salamanders that can reach lengths of upto two feet.

The Ozark National Scenic Riverways is home to several “Missouri Natural Areas”. These are specially designated areas that warrant extra protection and recognition due to their outstanding scenic or scientific value.

The Park is traversed by the “Ozark Trail”, which is a popular trail which passes Rocky falls and crosses the Current River at Powder Mill.

Historic Sites include Alley Spring (7th largest spring in Missouri) and Alley Mill, Welsh hospital etc.

There are camping grounds along the two rivers at alley Spring, Round Spring, Pultite, Two Rivers and big spring with less developed campsites at Akers, Round Spring, Alley. The bigger camp grounds offer campfire programmes and nature hikes during the summer.

Many wildflowers bloom in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways including fire pink, larkspur, marsh blue violet, purple coneflower and columbine etc.

There are also traditional Crafts demonstrations and bluegrass concerts.

The coin:

This coin is the 38th in the “America the Beautiful Quarters Programme”.

The Reverse depicts Alley Mill, a steel roller mill built in 1894. This merchant mill was used to convert wheat into flour. Much of the original milling equipment is still in place and visitors to the Park can tour the mill.

 On the upper periphery is mentioned the inscription “OZARK RIVERWAYS”. On the lower Periphery are mentioned “MISSOURI” “E.PLURIBUS UNUM” (meaning “One Among Many”) and the year of issue “2017”.

The Reverse has been designed AIP designer Ronald D. Sanders and engraved by Gordon, whose initials will appear on the actual coins.

39) Ellis Island – Statue of Liberty Monument – (District of Columbia):

Ellis Island in Upper New York Bay was the gateway for over 12 million immigrants to the USA and was the country’s busiest immigrant inspection station from 1892 to 1954.

Between 1905 and 1914, an average of one million immigrants per year arrived in the United States, with immigration officials reviewing about 5,000 immigrants every day during peak times at Ellis Island, even though the Inspection process took approximately 3 to 7 hours.

For the vast majority of the immigrants, Ellis Island was an “Island of Hope” – the first stop on their way to new opportunities and experiences in America. For the rest, it became the “Island of Tears” – a place where families were separated and individuals denied entry into the United States.

The first immigrant to pass through Ellis Island was Annie Moore, a 17-year old girl from Cork, Ireland, who arrived on the ship Nevada on 01.01.1892. She and her two brothers were coming to America to meet their parents, who had moved to New York two years earlier. She received a greeting from the officials and a $10 gold coin. The last person to pass through Ellis Island was a Norwegian merchant seaman Arne Peterssen in 1954.

The Island was greatly expanded with land reclamation between 1892 and 1934. Before that, a much smaller original island was the site of Fort Gibson and later a naval magazine.

The Emergency Quota Act, 1921, ended US’s open door immigration policy and significantly reduced the number of admissions by setting quotas according to Nationality. The number of each Nationality that could be admitted to the US was limited to 3% of that Nationality’s representation in the US Census of 1910. The law created havoc for those on Ellis Island and thousands of immigrants were stranded on the Island awaiting deportation. The Island sometimes became so overcrowded that officials had to admit excess-quota immigrants.

The First Emergency Quota Act (1921) was replaced with the even more restrictive Immigration Act of 1924. This Act further limited admissions to the US and sought to curtail immigration of Southern and Eastern Europeans, who by the 1900s comprised over 50% of the immigrant flow. Additionally, the Immigration Act of 1924, allowed prospective immigrants to undergo inspection before they left their homeland, making the trip to Ellis Island unnecessary.

After the Immigration Act of 1924 was passed, which greatly restricted immigration and allowed processing at overseas embassies, the only immigrants to pass through the station were those who had problems with their Immigration paperwork, displaced persons and war refugees.

After 1924, Ellis Island became primarily a detention and deportation processing station. During and immediately following World War I, Ellis Island was used to intern German merchant mariners and “enemy aliens” (Axis nationals) for fear of spying, sabotage and other fifth column activity.

From 1939 to 1946, the US Coast Guard occupied Ellis Island and established a training station that served 60,000 enlisted men and 3,000 officers.

By 1955, Ellis Island was declared “surplus Federal property”. The immigration buildings now wore a silent and ghostly look and the buildings became dilapidated.

In 1966, a Presidential Proclamation recognised the historical significance of Ellis Island by incorporating it into the Statue of Liberty National Monument, under the National Park Service. Meticulous work by a team of architects and artisans restored Ellis Island’s main building to its appearance during the years 1918 to 1924.

In 1990, a museum has been built on American immigration on Ellis Island.

The Island was earlier considered to be a part of New York State, but in 1998, following a Supreme Court decision, it is now placed in New Jersey, as most of the Island is in New Jersey.

The South side of the Island is home to the Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital.

The Coin:

This coin is the 39th in the “America the Beautiful Quarters Programme”. 

 The Reverse design depicts an immigrant family approaching Ellis Island with a mixture of hope and uncertainty. The hospital building can be seen in the background.

 On the upper periphery is mentioned the inscription “ELLIS ISLAND”. On the lower Periphery are mentioned “NEW JERSEY” “E.PLURIBUS UNUM” (meaning “One Among Many”) and the year of issue “2017”.

The Reverse has been designed by AIP designer Barbara Fox and engraved by Phebe Hemphill, whose initials will appear on the actual coins.

40) George Rogers Clark National Historical Park (Indiana):

George Rogers Clark National Historic Park (authorised in July 1966) is located in Vincennes, Indiana, on the banks of the Wabash River, which was the site of Fort Sackville. The historical theme represented by the Park is “Revolution, War in the Frontier”.

Between 1931 and 1933, the George Rogers Clark Memorial, a marvellous feat of architectural engineering was constructed as a tribute to his contributions to the American cause and the expansion of the United States into the Northwest Territory. The Memorial building is a circular granite structure surrounded by 16 granite fluted Greek Doric Columns in a peripteral colonnade.

The Park also commemorates the actions of Father Pierre Gibault and Francis Vigo who sided with Clark against the British.

About George Rogers Clark:

George Rogers Clark is popular as the heroic Revolutionary War Commander who led a small force of frontiersmen, aided by French residents, through the freezing flood waters on the prairies of the Illinois country from Kaskaskia on the Mississippi River to capture the British held Fort Sackville at Vincennes during February 1779, which remains as one of the greatest feats of the American Revolution.

The fort’s capture assured the US claims to the Frontier, an area nearly as large as the original 13 states.

Clark’s second-in-command, Captain Joseph Bowman (who was promoted to Major for the fine victory at Sackville during the hostilities), kept a journal throughout the entire campaign, bringing to light the heroic deeds of the Clark led force.

Although this was Clark’s most dramatic accomplishment, as Fort Sackville capitulated swiftly to the American force and sought terms of surrender very soon, Clark continued his campaign against British establishments on behalf of the American cause in the West during the entire period of the War.

Nine months after capturing Fort Sackville, Clark wrote a letter to George Mason chronicling his adventures against the British and the daring mid-winter march to Sackville.

These efforts included building forts on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, repelling a British-led Indian attack in the Illinois country and leading two major expeditions that destroyed the major Shawnee towns in the Ohio country.

Despite these accomplishments, the second half of his life saw his fortunes and health decline drastically.

During September 1783, the Revolutionary War officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris and Clark returned to private life.

Following the War, he served as Chairman of a Board of Commissioners that allotted lands across the Ohio River from Louisville to men who had taken part in his 1778 and 1779 campaigns.

He was also appointed a commissioner to make treaties with Native American tribes North of the Ohio River who continued their raids into Kentucky.

By 1786, Clark was sent to quell the Native American tribes, but on the way, several of his men mutinied. He was forced to return to Vincennes and establish a garrison before returning to Kentucky.

A deliberate campaign was initiated by his detractors to ruin his reputation as a military commander. He was hounded by creditors too. He made several attempts to salvage his reputation but when they did not produce substantial results, in 1803, he moved from Louisville to Clarksville, IN, which was a town named in his honour.

In 1809, he suffered a stroke of paralysis and had to undergo amputation of his leg.

In 1812, in a belated recognition of his services during the Revolutionary War, the General assembly of Virginia granted him a sword and half pay of $400 a year.

On 13.02.1818, he passed away at the age of 65.

(Note on the Native American tribes: The Native American tribes were caught in the middle of the conflict between the British and the Americans. It was a time when their way of life and surroundings were being torn apart by the Europeans, who had taken a heavy toll on them.  Some tribes were forced to align with the British while some fought on the American side. Despite, whose side they were fighting on, the tribes were actually fighting to save themselves. They were looking for a life that allowed them to choose where to live, hunt, raise their families, and bury their dead according to their own beliefs and traditions.

They were not “savages” as many American chroniclers, including Clark would have us believe. On the contrary, it was a “savage” time when all men of the Native American Nations were fighting for what they believed in – to live their lives in peace and freedom).


This coin is the 40th in the “America the Beautiful Quarters Programme”. 

The Reverse design depicts George Rogers Clark leading his men through the flooded plains approaching Fort Sackville.

On the upper periphery is mentioned the inscription “GEORGE ROGERS CLARK”.

On the lower Periphery are mentioned “INDIANA” “E.PLURIBUS UNUM” (meaning “One Among Many”) and the year of issue “2017”.

The Reverse has been designed by AIP designer Frank Morris and engraved by Michael Gaudioso, whose initials will appear on the actual coins.

The Obverses of all these coins will feature the 1932 portrait of George Washington designed by John Flanagan. Also seen on the Obverse are the inscriptions “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”, “LIBERTY”, “IN GOD WE TRUST” and QUARTER DOLLAR. The Mint marks “P” (Philadelphia), “D” (Denver) and “S” (San Francisco) will also appear on this face depending on the mint which has minted these coins – uncirculated sets (P & D) and proof sets (S).

The specifications of each of the coins in this coin set are:

Composition: 8.33% nickel, balance copper.     

 Weight: 5.67 gms. 

Diameter: 24.30 mm or 0.955 inch. 
Edge: Reeded.


1) America the Beautiful Quarters - 2010 (the start of the Programme)

2) America the Beautiful Quarters - 2011

3) America the Beautiful Quarters - 2012

4) America the Beautiful Quarters - 2013

5) America the Beautiful Quarters - 2014

6) State Commemorative Quarters

7) America the Beautiful Quarters - 2015

8) America the Beautiful Quarters - 2016

9) America the Beautiful Quarters - 2017 

10) The Great Seal of the USA & prominent mottoes

11) Native American Dollar Coin Programme

12) American Eagle Gold Coins

13) American Buffalo Gold Coins

14) Susan Anthony Dollar

15) US Bicentennial Coins

16) Westward Journey Nickel Series

17) Commemorating 225 Years of US Marshals Serivce

18) Forever Stamps : US Civil War 1861-65

19) The New US $100 Bill

20) The Strange Case of my becoming a US Citizen without even applying for it , thanks to the US Mint


  1. very informative well written article on this blog

    1. Thank you so much Melissa for your encouraging comment.